How to Protect the Environment Starting with Your Home
Is your home poisoning you and the planet? Our environment is changing how we live, our views, and our food. We spend 90% of our time indoors. We are stressed out and unhealthy. So is our planet. Our homes and offices are full of chemicals and toxins that are proven to cause disease and dis-ease. Imagine reducing these concerns for a healthier you and a healthier planet.
Every day people unknowingly bring toxins into their environment. Here are my 5 favorite tips to help you understand how thousands of synthetic chemicals are in everything that surrounds us and what you can do about it:
1. Air Fresheners
Synthetic air fresheners contain over 100 chemicals and those mystery ingredients may be endangering your health. You can choose natural products that do not contain chemicals or fragrance and instead, use plant-based essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender and orange oils which all have wonderful health benefits! Avoid products that do not disclose their fragrance or ingredients on their product label.
2. Plywood & Particle Board
Plywood and particle board are manufactured by gluing together pieces of wood, saw dust and wood chips, to increase their strength and durability. The glues contain formaldehyde, a toxic gas. The formaldehyde will break down and off-gas for up to 10 years and is linked to respiratory issues. Consider buying products that are formaldehyde-free, by choosing sustainable hardwood, UF-free fiberboard, and formaldehyde-free medium density fiberboard (MDF) in place of plywood. Fiberboard can be made of recycled wood, paper, or plant fiber waste which is compressed and molded into boards without adhesives.
3. Non-Toxic Mattresses
Think about it. How long do you spend laying in your bed? Most mattresses on the market are full of chemicals that can pollute your bedroom air and harm your body. This includes polyurethane foam that can emit VOC’s, harmful chemicals that cause respiratory irritation and other health problems; flame retardant chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption and adverse effects on the immune system; and PVC or vinyl covers that can damage developing reproductive systems.
If possible, choose a mattress made with 95% organic content which can include cotton, wool or natural latex. Natural latex is also highly resistant to mold and dust mites and is more durable than petroleum-based foam. Sleep in harmony instead of fighting foreign chemicals!
4. Ditch the Plastic
How long does it really take plastic to decompose? Get ready for this…NEVER. It’s difficult to face the truth about plastic, but we have to start. We all know about plastic and the harm they cause to the environment, the energy they require to make, and their links to cancer, obesity, allergies, thyroid, and other hormonal disruptors. As a first step in avoiding plastic, you can opt for reusable alternatives such as stainless steel and beautiful glass food containers, water bottles, reusable grocery bags, and even natural fibers like cotton, hemp, and linen in your clothing!
Composting is good for several reasons. It saves water by helping the soil hold moisture and reduce water runoff. When we throw away yard and food waste, it decomposes in a landfill and releases methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. It benefits the environment by recycling organic resources while conserving landfill space. Ultimately, it lowers your carbon footprint while encouraging nutrient-filled material for your garden.
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Marie Roviello is the founder of MarieRoviello.com, a modern, non-toxic and vegan interior-design firm based in Los Angeles, CA and Scottsdale, AZ.